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Chapel Down H1 sales grow over a quarter to hit £4m

Published:  29 September, 2016

England's leading winery has seen its sales grow by 26% over the past year to over £4 million - growth which company expects to continue.

England's leading winery has seen its sales grow by 26% over the past year to over £4 million - growth which company expects to continue.

Chapel Down's H1 2016 results released this morning suggest that the UK's love affair with English sparkling wine won't be slowing any time soon.

The Kent producer saw top line growth of 26% across combined sales of its wine and also beer and cider business Curious Drinks rising to £4.093m (H1 2015: £3.249m).

Wine sales were up 14% to £2.585m from £2.275m in the first half of 2015, with sales of sparkling up 11%.

Curious Drinks Ltd Beer and Cider sales also saw impressive growth, up 55% to £1.508m compared to £974,000 during the same period last year.

Chief executive Frazer Thompson is confident the results reflect a long-term commitment from consumers who are demanding quality homegrown wine and beers.

"Consumers' interest in English wines and specialist or craft beer shows no sign of abating and Chapel Down has worked hard to be well positioned to benefit," he said.

"We are planting more vines in the finest sites, improving our production facilities, winemaking equipment and systems and developing our people and brands. The successful fundraising of £1.736m for Curious Drinks will enable us to build an exciting new brewery and develop our business for the long term. We are encouraged by the prospect of another good harvest in 2016, with excellent quality, which will enable us to continue to improve the quality of our wines and help our goal to have supply in place to meet future demand."

Earnings before interest, tax and other earnings jumped to £93,000 in the six months to June 2016, up from £84,000 the year before - a consequence, the company said, of a conscious decision to invest surplus cash in "our people, our systems, and our brands".

"We believe that the potential and the growth in both English wines and specialist or craft beer will continue and we want to ensure our brands are well positioned to participate in that growth. We continue to invest in planting new vineyards on the finest land on our long term leasehold land holdings in Kent and other long term partner sites," the company said.